Systematic literature review and empirical investigation of barriers to process improvement in global software development: Client–vendor perspective

Arif Ali Khan, Jacky Keung, Mahmood Niazi, Shahid Hussain, Awais Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context Increasingly, software development organizations are adopting global software development (GSD) strategies, mainly because of the significant return on investment they produce. However, there are many challenges associated with GSD, particularly with regards to software process improvement (SPI). SPI can play a significant role in the successful execution of GSD projects. Objective The aim of the present study was to identify barriers that can negatively affect SPI initiatives in GSD organizations from both client and vendor perspectives. Method A systematic literature review (SLR) and survey questionnaire were used to identify and validate the barriers. Results Twenty-two barriers to successful SPI programs were identified. Results illustrate that the barriers identified using SLR and survey approaches have more similarities However, there were significant differences between the ranking of these barriers in the SLR and survey approaches, as indicated by the results of t-tests (for instance, t = 2.28, p = 0.011 < 0.05). Our findings demonstrate that there is a moderate positive correlation between the ranks obtained from the SLR and the empirical study (rs (22) = 0.567, p = 0.006). Conclusions The identified barriers can assist both client and vendor GSD organizations during initiation of an SPI program. Client-vendor classification was used to provide a broad picture of SPI programs, and their respective barriers. The top-ranked barriers can be used as a guide for GSD organizations prior to the initiation of an SPI program. We believe that the results of this study can be useful in tackling the problems associated with the implementation of SPI, which is vital to the success and progression of GSD organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-205
Number of pages26
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications

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